William Fichtner Talks ‘TMNT’; Confirms No Bebop & Rocksteady

Published 1 year ago by

Fichtner Shredder William Fichtner Talks TMNT; Confirms No Bebop & Rocksteady

Many children of the ’80s remain warily on the fence about Platinum Dune’s upcoming live-action reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s an iconic and beloved property -one that’s arguably been ripe for a modern makeover for a very long time – but the involvement of producer Michael Bay (Transformers) and director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) has quite understandably given longtime fans pause, as has  the news that the film’s release date has been moved to August, 2014.

Still, while some of the casting decisions remain dubious (namely Megan Fox as April O’Neil), the producers have chosen fan-favorite actors for the prominent supporting roles, including Whoopi Goldberg as April’s boss, Will Arnett as Vernon Fenwick (April’s cameraman in this incarnation), and – in perhaps the wisest casting move of all – veteran character actor William Fichtner (The Lone Ranger) as the Turtles’ most famous and iconic adversary, the evil Shredder.

After various conflicting reports about the identity and nature of Fichtner’s character, the actor himself finally shed some light on his role. In an interview with The Hollywood News, he’s given us some more information about the look of the Turtles: “They are some messed up mutant turtles!”  and about Shredder, AKA Eric Sachs. Besides featuring “the darkest version of the character,” Fichtner had this to say:

“What I read about Eric Sachs in the script was great, and then how the character has been moulded and changed when we started filming has become something really quite remarkable in terms of what we’ve seen before of the character.”

Animated Bebop and Rocksteady William Fichtner Talks TMNT; Confirms No Bebop & Rocksteady

While this isn’t exactly the most earth-shattering insight into Shredder, one other detail was mentioned: Shredder’s main henchmen from the cartoon series, Bebop and Rocksteady, will not be in the reboot.

Fans of the cartoon will recall that Bebop and Rocksteady – characters created for the series, like the majority of the Ninja Turtles’ acknowledged canon – were former members of a street gang who were mutated by Shredder and constantly sent after the Turtles. The characters were used as comic relief, as their bumbling, inept efforts to stop our heroes invariably failed.

It is still unknown just how close in tone the TMNT reboot will be to Platinum Dune’s previous dark and violent remakes, but the omission of these characters could be a clue. They were always popular enough to remain on the show, and while their mutations (humans crossed with a warthog and rhinoceros) have the potential for some memorable grotesqueness, this franchise is still aimed (mostly) at kids.

Or is it? A lot of people who were in middle-school during the peak of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle craze have middle-school-aged kids of their own now, and these grown-ups and their nostalgia are arguably the biggest fan-base for this reboot. If we’re seeing the “darkest” Shredder yet, fans might be ready to cautiously look forward to some other surprises as a new generation is introduced to Donatello (Jeremy Howard), Michaelangelo (Noel Fisher), Leonardo (Peter Ploszek) and Raphael (Alan Ritchson).


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will open in theaters on August 8th, 2014.

Source: The Hollywood News

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. Wisest move of all? So shredder is now a white guy? Here we go again…

    • lol thats what i thought too. the Shredder casting is the worst casting ever.ever!

      • Oh god, it’s not a good sign for this movie when apparently the wisest move of all is casting this guy as The Shredder

        • I feel so much better knowing I’m not the only one that couldn’t swallow this article.

          Thankfully we got an incredible 1990 TMNT film with a lethal Shredder.
          I guess we will just have to wait 20 more years.

    • I was just about to say this exact thing. Shredder’s name is Oroku Saki.. That doesn’t sound like a white man’s name. Why can’t they just stick to the source material?

      I’m not trying to degrade William Fichtner. I think he’s an awesome actor. But he’s no Shredder. If Shredder was in fact white, I’d love to see Fichtner portray him. Although I think he’s a bit too old to be starring in a possible franchise.

      • I feel I should remind people that Ra’s Al Ghul is not a French man named Henri Ducard, either, in fact, they were two entirely different characters, BUT IT WORKED.

        BANE is also not a white man. It worked…except when all of you whiny fans forced the studio to ruin his voice. lol. Other than that, it worked.

        Besides, there’s no reason why the character can’t be of Japanese descent. Variety is interesting.

    • you have not seen the movie, have you? lol

  2. I don’t mind the exclusion of Bebop and Rocksteady, like the article says, they were mostly there for comedic relief. I like William Fichtner and am looking forward to him as Shredder, I initially wanted Ken Watanabe but Fichtner is still an interesting choice. To be honest, I think Fichtner is the only thing about the film I’m actually intrigued by about this reboot.

    • I like Fichtner too. Even when he’s playing the antagonist, he’s got so much charisma you can’t help but root for him. I’m just worried about there not being a ninja master rivalry. The long-standing rivalry between Oroku Saki and Hamato Yoshi is not only the starting point of all conflict in this franchise, but it has always been the most interesting part of this franchise for me. I haven’t read anything about Fichtner receiving any martial arts training. If Shredder isn’t a blade-armored ninja master with a massive chip on his shoulder, and his foot soldiers are packing heat as I’ve seen in some of the set photos, then it makes it really unusual that the heroes would take him on with swords, sticks, and roundhouse kicks. As if anthropomorphic skater turtles weren’t weird enough…

  3. they’ve already f***ed this up by casting some white dude as an ancient japanese warrior (depending on which continuity you follow).

    f*** you bay and f*** your s***stain of a writer(s) for not even bothering to be true to the source… my bet is that the 90′s live action original tmnt movie will be far superior to this CG and explosion infested pile of cliche’ horse s*** >:(

    • This movie is not a remake, rather it is a reboot, which means some aspects of the original story don’t have to be exactly represented in the reboot. This movie, along with the Transformers movies, are simply based on the original stories. Why make something exactly like the original? That is a terrible idea.

      • you seriously aren’t defending this pile of garbage are you ?

        what’s this a reboot of ? the original movies, fine i can sorta handle that, but how can you reboot source material – make your own s*** and call it something it isn’t… ohh wait that’s right, they’re using the name to lure people into watching this PoS bastardisation of an iconic 80′s era series…

        transformers had the origin more or less right, the characters where somewhat similar (minus optimus being rambo), this doesn’t even have the nationality of the main villain correct so how can you expect it to be good ? the guy playing the villain isn’t even at a level of masculinity that could pass him off as a threat to anyone…

        it’s people like you that sicken me b/c you are encouraging hollywood to keep on f***ing with properties they know nothing about and have no idea how to bring to life…

        • Whether or not he works out as Shredder remains to be seen. When they cast Tom Hardy as Bane people complained just like you are now, but I think it is safe to say that TDKR was pretty damn good and Bane was a great villain.

          • Who ever complained about Hardy playing Bane? And remember, this isn’t Christopher Nolan, this is Michael Bay and Jonathan Liebesman.

          • The only people that complained about Hardy cast as Bane had obviously not seen him in Bronson.

        • You’re seriously claiming that Fichtner doesn’t convey a real threat?

          Do you expect your villains to be 6’10, 300 pounds of muscle and using brute strength to show how evil they are?

          I only ask because I find the best villains are those who don’t look like much of a threat but are actually the scariest, most threatening people you could ever meet. Fichtner meets that criteria.

        • Quit crying! GEEZ! If they want this movie to release in china and japan they cant have some evil chinaman trying to kill turtles, for sure china wont allow that in their country and they are a HUGE money making market now so you cant just say F*** china, NO movie Co. will do that anymore, JUST NOT GONNA HAPPEN, just like the Mandarin IM, If they would have made him exactly like the comics they would have lost an ass load of cash and if you think they make these movies for 1 person…YOU, YOU ARE SADLY MISTAKEN my little friend! Dry your tears and dont let anyone else that is in line in front of you see you crying over a mutant turtle movie!

    • if they stay true to the source they will be righting the same story. tmnt has been rebooted so many times in comics and cartoons that to do something fresh with the franchise you have to skip some of the canon. I can see shredder being a alien or street thug with human martial art skills.

  4. I hope Shredder turns into Super Shredder. But this time with more productive onscreen time. (Im frowning upon you, Secret of the Ooze!)
    That is what I´ve always wanted…

  5. boy this is going to be bad

  6. Liam Neeson as Splinter.

    • liam neeson could probably play doctor strange in a movie.

      • yeah! Never thought of it actually, Neeson fits the bill as doctor strange

  7. the way thhings are going master Splinter will ne Zach Gafilinfiakiskis… NOT stoked at all about this reboot.

    • Already cast as Splinter is Danny Woodburn.


      Danny Woodburn

      …that voice…smh

      • Had to look him up before I realised he was in Jingle All The Way and Watchmen.

        Who’s to say his voice won’t be altered in some way though? I’ll still always hear the original actor’s voice in my head until I hear Woodburn’s version but still, until I hear it, I won’t complain too much.

        • Altered through talent and not some digital way I hope.

          Anyway his voice does not make me believe Splinter as a wise old mentor to the turtles.

          Danny Woodburn seems more fit for voicing Rocket Raccoon.

          • Digital would be the only way to go though unless he’s capable enough himself.

            I mean, Bale altered his Batman voice through his own vocals and somehow, people hated it. Tom Hardy meanwhile had his voice digitally altered in much the same way as James Earl Jones as Darth Vader (mostly with some reverb).

      • If you don’t remember, Elmo played Splinter in the first 2 TMNT movies…

        • guarantee that the guys playing the turtles are those super cool and athletic parkour/freerunning type of guys.

  8. White guy places asian character and its not okay. But black guy plays white character and it is okay. Weird.

    • To be fair, there was a lot of backlash in the FF thread regarding the race change.

      • Yeah but if you were not in favor for THAT race change, you were racist. If you are in favor of this race change, you are in the wrong. Double standard is all I am pointing out.

        • +1
          All too common a trait these days when it comes to the racially mixed casting. Replace (fill in the blank race) with a black guy, it’s absolutely fine and if you don’t agree you’re a racist. Replace (any other race) character with (fill in the blank with any other race) then it’s ridiculuous and you’re ignorant to even consider that it may be a welcome interpretation of the character. It would be humorous if not grossly overshadowed by it’s ignorance.

          • The problem with replacing a normally ethnic character with a white one is that there aren’t many roles in comic book movies for us. So when you replace one with a more marketable white actor, we notice.

        • heroes in a half shell return.

      • Yeah, to say the majority of comments in the FF articles were positive is pretty ridiculous.

        I’m ok with both changes though. Sure, I grew up with the cartoon and toys in the 80s, loved the first two movies (only saw part of the third and was bored by it and 20 years later, still haven’t finished watching the whole thing) but I’m cool with Fichtner as Shredder.

        Honestly, if you’ve seen him in anything previously, you’ll know he has this commanding presence on screen, which is exactly what Shredder needs to be a good villain.

        • Fichtner in Entourage was amazing. I love the guy.

          • Haven’t seen Entourage (looked crap and Jeremy Piven is in it, hate that guy) but Fichtner was great in TDK’s opening scene and Drive Angry in particular. Pretty much chewed the scenery in both those films.

            • Ha. Each to their own. Jeremy Piven is the reason I love Entourage. Many Golden Globes and and Emmys won for that man because of the show. Fichtner’s short role in TDK will always be a favorite as well.

              • I saw Piven host an episode of WWE Raw back in the day when I used to watch pro wrestling and he annoyed me and just came across as a smug p*nis who deserved a slap to knock the arrogance out of him.

                He was decent in Mr Selfridge last year but again, I couldn’t get over the fact he was the lead actor in it.

            • Fichtner was also good in the Prison Break series. I don’t think that show should’ve gone much more past season 1 (it really lost a lot of steam after they, you know, broke out of prison), but Fichtner is the reason I’m glad it did.

              • I’ve honestly never seen Prison Break either. Looked interesting but once it started and clips of upcoming episodes aired during commercials, I sorta felt glad I didn’t watch it.

                I might check it out at some point though.

              • glad.

      • fantastic four debate goes on.

      • definitely alot of controversy among fans about the ff reboot.

    • Aww please, cry me a river. The original FF characters never had racial elements in the story. Superman is/was played by a white guy, but him being a white guy was never critical to the development of the story. Characters like Shredder and Black Panther all have ties to their racial origin.
      This FF discussion was over before it began because of these reasons.

  9. *things *be (shouldn’t write while mad)

  10. Wow that comment was vague. And if this is a darker tail, than why not have Bebop and Rocksteady? The mutation sequence alone would be awesome! I’m also not fond of the choice for Shredder, but you know if Nolan was directing this it would be Watanabe as Shredder. At that point I’d say, shut up and take my money.

    • Wantanabe, wouldabe a much better choice.

  11. So supporters of Michael B. Jordan playing Johnny Storm, is it racist to complain about a white man playing a character who is supposed to be Japanese?

    • Yes it is. Can I have a cookie now?

  12. This is Bullsh!! F*** this movie, f*** Platinum Dunes and f*** Michael Bay for ruining my beloved TMNT.

    • I wouldn’t say it’s ruining TMNT but it’ll make a dent in its reputation if this film proves big in the box office. I always wanted a TMNT film where it’s taken seriously, has the comedic side of the turtles and the heart warming family side. This reboot could’ve convinced the general audience that the Turtles are more badass than they think. Unfortunately, I don’t see an of this happening.

      • What you just described is the first Turtles movie.

        • +1!!!!!

  13. About the white guy japanese – In 2003 cartoon Shredder was ultimately Ultron, plus Bay saying that turtles have alien origin, so this could be the case :))

    • Bay has dropped the alien angle after massive fan complaints.

  14. Whoopi Goldberg is playing April O’Neil’s boss, who in the cartoon is named Burne Thompson who is a white man, so they change they name to Bernadette.

  15. My A**hole has more directing talent than Michael Bay.

    • LOL thanks for the image. Someone get this guy’s a**hole a megaphone and a folding chair.

      • might as well get it some nair too while you’re at it.

      • Don’t forget the coffee lol

  16. So I’m guessing Abby Elliott is playing Casey Jones.

  17. Even if they did have Bebop and Rocksteady, people would complain about the change to their appearance due to the fact that Bebop especially looks incredibly outdated.

  18. I’m sure it will be just as good as the New Lone Ranger reboot.

    • I see what you did there.

  19. OK seriously, if you’re already butthurt and the movie hasn’t come out, then please leave, we really don’t need you here. I grew up with an incarnation of the TMNT team and I’m not flipping a b**** because Shredder’s white or Splinter is played by that midget from Seinfeld.

    The whole point of making this movie is to test the waters and see if they can bring back the series in a spectacular way. It’s an experiment, and one I’m excited to be a part of.

    I will admit that I’ll miss the voice actors from the first three TMNT live-action films, but won’t hold it against this one.

    • If you’re okay with Shredder being white, you’re a racist.

      • Please, I get accused of being racist everyday because I’m white.

        It doesn’t bug me anymore.

        Besides, why let a Chinese man play a role a white man can do?

        • Cry some more, dude.

          • WTF are you even talking about?

            Are you dim?

        • haha did you say chinese? do you even know the turtles origin!? hahaha Japanese dude! and people please stop making this cognitive dissonance that its gna be sooo great! its gna be accepted hollyweird movie – yes.. but come on, the first live action movie had japanese actors.. even as a lot of the fightings within the suits… which was based on the comics! really? how are they gonna put that dude as splinter, when the splinter now for NICK is the best YET!? :o also how the hell are they downsizing april’s wit n brains with boobs, they coulda gotten jessica biel! she wanted to do it! :o n Gawd at least put Casey in this one! thank gawd no Bebop n rock!

          • Chinese, Japanese, same thing…just because someone isn’t that race doesn’t mean they can’t be part of that culture. Shredder does not HAVE to be Japanese, he could’ve been adopted by Japanese parents, grown up obsessed with Japanese culture, or ever *GASP* have nothing do with those yellow skins!

            Everyone’s shooting this film down before even giving it a chance. If it tanks, they’ll be all whiney and say “I called it”…if it’s good, they’ll be all whiney and say “I knew it would be good! I said it all along!”

  20. this movie is gonna blow chunks it is beyond an epic fail already.. way to rape our childhood sand dune/bay…..thx so much for screwing with the source in such a way it is going to ruin the franchise….

  21. The problem with changing Shredder’s race is that the Japanese heritage is a significant part of the character. Johnny Storm is a different situation because a white kid or an adopted African American kid(I assume adopted since it seems Sue will be white) could have literally the exact same story as Johnny Storm. Nothing necessarily changes just by casting Michael B. Jordan. But by making Shredder a white dude, they are fundamentally and necessarily altering the Shredder’s story. Maybe they’ll do a good job. I doubt it, but I’ve been surprised before, though never by Michael Bay.

    So it isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, I don’t think, to compare people upset by this change with people who were upset by the Johnny Storm change.

    Regardless, I don’t care about the change since I have zero hope for this movie. I pray they surprise me. And I don’t care if they take the property in an entirely new direction (within reason) if it’s good.

    • Except never in the comics or any previous adaptation live action or cartoon has Johnny Storm ever been adopted.

      • Then change his whole family black, what’s the problem?

  22. Now I know Bay got a lot of ridicule for Transformers(the first one was pretty good though) but if he messes up the Turtles man smh please don’t touch anything else

  23. I’d like Bay to make it dark and gritty like the original comic before the kids show took off. But remember this Bay were talking about here. I’m sure he was an offensive replacement in mind for Shredder’s henchmen. Or they simply are going to use whatever characters are showing in the latest Nickelodeon show.

  24. I’ve lost hope for the movie. Bay is a dweeb who messed up transformers and will mess up the ninja turtles. I understand there is artistic license, and am ok with a good movie with some sacrifice to the story lines we know but when so much of the story is messed with it seems to me like an ego thing. This will disappoint me like Man of Steel did

  25. Crucify Michael bay. Burn him to the ground. Ninja turtles were not created by the government. Wake up america